Inmate tries to escape, crashes jail van

Posted at 7:53 AM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 20:23:54-05

CHP and KCSO officials reported on Wednesday that an inmate tried to escape from the Lerdo jail.

According to the Kern County Sheriff's Office at around 7:30 am, seven inmates were being loaded into a van to be transported to the Delano court house.

Officials said six of the inmates were in the van, when the seventh one, Ramon Castro, 23, slipped out of his handcuffs, ran around the van and jumped into the driver's seat, locking the door behind him. 

KCSO officials said that the supervising deputy got in front of vehicle, drew his gun and ordered Castro out of the van.

Officials said Castro backed up and then accelerated toward the deputy. The deputy was able to jump out of the way and alert everyone there was an escape in progress. 

Ray Pruitt with the Kern County Sheriff's Office said that's when three other detention deputies got into a personal vehicle to help establish a perimeter. 

He said the deputies made it to the main gate when Castro struck their vehicle from behind. 

“I don’t know if he was trying to push their vehicle out of the way or what he was thinking but he rammed their vehicle from behind as they were seated in the vehicle,” said Pruitt. 

The deputies got out of their vehicle, drew their weapons and forcibly removed Castro from the van and placed him back in custody. 

Pruitt said there were no major injuries and officials do not think the other six inmates will face additional charges. 

Officials would not comment on whether or not the supervising detention deputy followed proper procedure when loading the van.

The facility was placed on lockdown all day and visitation was canceled. Castro was in custody at Lerdo jail for a misdemeanor obstructing/resisting an officer charge. Officials said Castro will face additional charges including felony escape, grand theft auto, and assault with a deadly weapon.

23ABC reached out to Castro's attorney, John Dulcich, for an interview, but he declined.

In Castro's old Delano neighborhood, Jose Zacareas said Castro and his family were always friendly neighbors.

In spanish, Zacareas said,“He was out of work for awhile, But I’m surprised he’s in trouble with the law."